It is now week 6 of Rookdom. Time is flying by. Week 0 was rook orientation week. Rook arrival day was nerve wracking for sure. I was excited to meet my soon-to-be rook brothers and sisters, but I was nervous for what was to come after my parents left. Unfortunately, this week we did not have much time to bond with our rook family but in the brief moments we did it was all laughs. My staff sergeants are good at what they do. They continually demonstrate the proper way to march, greet, and act. There has yet to be a day week that I wanted to turn back and go home. Every morning during Rook Week we were woken up by the cannon on the UP and music played by our cadre. Even though my first thoughts when I woke up were “This sucks, I could be sleeping,” I continued to move as fast as possible to get ready. Every night when my roommates and I were put to bed we would laugh about what we messed up on that day and then realize, it really wasn’t that bad. The most memorable part of my week was the Dog River Run. Prior to the dog river run my platoon and I painted our faces with camo face paint as instructed by our cadre. Once we marched to the soccer fields as a unit we were then instructed to continue to camouflage ourselves with grass, trees, etc. Some of my rook brothers actually looked like trees; with branches from trees sticking out of their ACUs, while others looked like scarecrows from their grass-stuffed-ACUs. After PTing with our cadre we motivated each other with chants. We then ran to the Dog River and dove into the muddy water. We were instructed to get a rock from the river to keep for as long as we are here at Norwich. Some rooks came up with a rock small enough to carry in one hand while others came up with what could potentially be classified as boulders. Throughout the Dog River Run we stuck together, not leaving anyone behind. This experience really brought my platoon together. We learned the importance of staying together as well as motivating each other.
During study hall one night, a staff sergeant from 5-2 walked passed our room, stopped, turned around and walked towards our door. “Oh shit” thought to myself. “I have no idea what this guys name is. Oh god there’s a wrinkle in my bed. “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Margo, from Paper Towns?” he asked. “Uh no, I don't know who that is.” I responded. “Yo, you watch Paper Towns?” He shouted down the hall to another cadre member. “You know the character Margo? Rct Covino is her doppelganger.” “What let me see? Oh my god you're right.” Next thing I knew I was being called into the hallway so my cadre could show everyone that I looked like this actress. I was stopped in the gutter when I was walking to class and I was even approached at chow several times because cadets thought I looked just like Cara Delevingne.
Over the last six weeks we have really learned that everything here is earned. We lost the privileges to eat with a fork and take hands to our food, we only have four minutes to hygiene and change, and we have had to square the hall way twice. We earned the privilege to take hands to our food by marching well as a company during the Alumni Parade. This means we don't have to ask to take a bite from an apple or our sandwich or any other food that is usually consumed with your hands. Later in the week we earned our forks back for sounding off. There was one day that we had to make our beds three times because one of my rook brothers did not make his rack before leaving for the day. I love my rook family, but paying for their mistakes gets to be annoying, so I take it upon myself to go room to room everyday to help my rook brothers properly SOP their rooms. Most of them are thankful when I do this, but there are some that get irritated because they think I think that I am better than them when actually I am taking time out of my day to help people that need it. Over the past few weeks we have learned who the team players are and who the individuals are. It is hard to work as a team when not everyone wants to work as a team.